Cuban salsa tips part I: No unsolicited advice
We are starting a section about Cuban salsa tips! Why? We believe it’s essential to be aware of some things that we don’t have time to discuss in-depth in class and we believe these things are also important to share with the salsa world. Paradoxically, today we’d actually like to encourage you not to give advice. So, what do we mean?
At Dame2Salsa, from time to time, we see a case of: you have gone to a few classes, you’re getting the hang of it, feeling good, and starting to have more confidence in your new skills. Or a case of: you have been dancing for a while, gone to a thousand classes, and already know plenty of moves. In either case, suddenly one day you find yourself giving advice or correcting your dance partner. We are going to tell you exactly why you shouldn’t do this:
- Despite your good intentions, you can end up correcting and teaching someone the wrong thing. It is much more difficult to unlearn something or kick a bad habit than to learn it well from the start.
- It is almost always the case that you’ve just learned your role (leader or follower), and not the other. It’s normal, and highly probable, that you have missed important explanations and details about that other role.
- Most importantly, this is what your teachers are there for: to correct and give advice. Let them know! They will probably be able to quickly realize what is going wrong and how to fix it.
If a step isn’t going well, regardless of whether it’s your or your partner’s fault, it’s much more constructive to get your teacher’s attention than deciding/saying what has to be done. Trust us!
On the dance floor
- Everyone has their own style. It may be that you are correcting something which is not bad, just stylistically different.
- The dance floor is not a classroom. Of course, people go to practice what they’ve learned. But people also go out dancing to have fun, blow off steam, disconnect, be with friends, etc.
- It is all too easy to offend somebody by correcting them.
This last one is fundamental and one of the most important pieces of Cuban salsa tips to take away. In fact, this can be applied to almost any social activity that requires some skill, not only salsa.
- Your two cents, or unsolicited advice, will generally be received as negative criticism.
- Not giving advice is playing it safe! Nobody is going to dislike not being corrected!
Couples: pay close attention!
- Learning together should help strengthen your connection, not break it!
We’d like to stress one of the most common cases: a couple (the ones that kiss!) sign up for our classes because one of the two wants to learn to dance and wants to share their dancing hobby with their partner. We couldn’t finish this first post on our list of Cuban salsa tips without mentioning it. Take very special care, affection and attention with any corrections and critiques you may give to your partner. It is extra discouraging to hear criticism from the one you love, and you might just be killing their desire to learn to dance.
Remember, we are dancing to have uncomplicated, disconnected fun! We can only achieve this if if everyone is enjoying themselves! Now, without further ado, let’s dance … and long live the rueda!!